This is a tough one and to be honest I haven’t given it all that much thought. Perhaps it’s better that way as what comes to you straight away can often be right?
The best footballer I have ever witnessed play “live” at a football match (which I attended) is by a long way Stan Collymore. Before you shout at your laptop screen I must point out that I support Birmingham City and as such have not been exposed to many “larger” teams and players. Also I used to go to the games when Birmingham City were much more of a lower league side than they are at present.
Collymore circa 1993 when playing for Nottingham Forest simply tore Blues apart. It was a one man demolition job. The Blues fans went from verbal abuse to questioning if he should be in the England team in the space of about half-an-hour. Collymore had pace and strength comparable to Anelka when he tore Man United apart in his early Arsenal days.
He’s easy to knock but I’ve always respected Stan Collymore as a footballer even though he clearly wasted some of his talent and made mistakes in other areas outside of football.
I can only reflect on what I can remember so will omit arguably the greatest player ever Pele.
From playing football in a school playground since the age of 4 my earliest memory is when Johan Cruyff did this…
The very next day everyone was attempting that turn. There was much more to Cruyff’s game too and had he played had he played in the 1978 World Cup Final, (the first World Cup I can recall), Holland may have lifted the trophy and Total Football would have been complete.
Zinedine Zidane is clearly one of the best players of all time. I’ll shut up and let the videos do the talking. First up you’ve got this goal in the 1992 Champions League Final.
The you’ve got just his dominance on the ball and sublime movement and strength…
…and to top it all off ZZ has the loof of somebody beyond football. In the 2006 World Cup Final when he took a penalty at 0-0 in his last International match he did something no sane person would do. That penalty just underlined that Zidane was almost alone – a World Cup Final – sheer audacity…
Even as an English male it is impossible to not see Diego Maradona as possibly the greatset footballer of all time. With time this moment hurts less and you’ve just got to take your hat off to him.
Maradona has that poise and low centre of gravity that typifies legendary players (Messi). Strong, unpredictable, uncontainable – he had it all.
Even though he’s only 24 I have to include already Lionel Messi. The amount of times I have casually put on a Champions League game half disinterested and within a few minutes Messi has done something unbelievable is too many to discount. If he produces his talent on the International stage I belive he will be strongly considered the best player of all time?